Film Competition - A Well of Collective Consciousness?

A Potpourri of Vestiges Feature

By Oorvazi Irani

A reflective article by Oorvazi Irani, filmmaker and film educationalist.

What role can a film competition play for filmmakers and an audience? I have not really asked myself this question before but currently being involved in a similar activity as a mentor for a film competition I find it a meaningful area to reflect upon and the more I think about it I feel it has a unique role to play in the creation and presentation of films.  

What is a film competition? A space where a large number of people contribute a film on a theme or in a common category and compete to win and be showcased to an audience.

If we look at it this way then filmmakers are similar to sportsmen exhibiting their skill and pushing their limits to excel.  But what is different is that here it is not only the triumph of the spirit and skill of the competitor that is involved but also the interplay of worldviews, a life experience, and possibly a discovery of an unknown truth. The world of ideas and perspectives are brought into the arena and it can be a great space of learning and growing through shared journeys. It is like a pool of the collective consciousness of all filmmakers that dissolves the personal into a mixture of hybrid realities and experiences, which the audience dive into.

If the film competition involves a particular topic then the outcome is a powerful concentrated space of thoughts and emotions which we enter as filmmakers and audiences to create and partake. It can reveal trends, it can serve as useful research data for particular communities, age groups, cultures, etc. to help to better know who we are and the world around us. Its like a community effort where individuals form one link to the entire chain. Each film has a separate story but all films put together could have a new narrative to tell of how we view the world.

How important is winning in a film competition and how important is the audience for a filmmaker? Well yes as a filmmaker it boosts your ego and gives you more visibility if you win and you enter with the hope to win but participating is also beautiful as you are part of a larger narrative taking place. And talking about the audience, it always plays a significant role in the process because as an artist your work is never really complete unless it finishes its cycle and reaches the audience.

Another interesting aspect to examine is the neutral nature of the competition and the mind-set of the judging panel and point of view of the organization hosting it, how independent is its thinking and how liberated is its choices that allow the best to reach out and lead the pack to the winning post. When you enter a film competition/festival is the winner chosen because you align with the agenda of the competition/ festival or is there a criterion above it all that recognizes talent that has something to say and your original work is not made slave to cater to a particular worldview?

A film competition is like putting notes together to form a song and the song is not just heard but also seen and lived – the song of the seventh art. 

SVKM Culturama 5 presents "Capturar A Story" a short film competition for all you young film aficionados (14-19 years) all over India. The event is mentored by Ms Oorvazi Irani who is a notable and proficient filmmaker and film educationalist.

Afternoon DC newspaper is our Media Partner and Pocket Films is our Online Film Distribution Partner

SVKM Culturama is an International school festival inviting schools all over India, including 70 schools in Mumbai from various international boards - IB, A levels, IGCSE and also ICSE (8th to 12th standards)

CulturamaShort Film Competition
Topic: "Becoming 18"
Online Submission
Duration: 5 minutes
Age limit: 14-19 years
Submission Deadline: 26 January 2017, 11 pm
Contact: Timiha Kunj (Ph: 9819392213; email:
Rules and Registration link:

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